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Russia Foils Attempt to Detain Families of Pilots Fighting in Syria

Russia Foils Attempt to Detain Families of Pilots Fighting in Syria

Thursday, 11 October, 2018 - 12:00
Russian forces raze the hideout of an ISIS cell in Siberia | Asharq Al-Awsat
Moscow – Abdulhadi Habtor
A sleeper cell of Jamaat al-Tawhid wal-Jihad, an international terror group outlawed in Russia and operates in Syria, was uncovered in West Siberia’s Tomsk Region, the Federal Security Service press service said on Wednesday.

Members of the cell were engaged in recruitment and the formation of cells to participate in terrorist activities, including the implementation of terrorist operations on Russian territory.

This terror clan was involved "in combat actions on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic against members of the regular army and the official Syrian government," the press service said.

The operation was conducted by the Federal Security Service (the FSB), the Interior Ministry, and the National Guard.

Criminal charges for inciting terrorist acts was pressed against the leader of the terrorist cell, who is a citizen of a Central Asian country.

According to the FSB, the group’s leader had encouraged his acquaintances to carry out terrorist acts in Syria, contacting with them through the Telegram messenger and in person.

The recruiter was aware that the group could be tasked with committing terrorism-related crimes in Russia.

The man has been arrested and faces up to 15 years behind bars. Three other group members, who are the recruiter’s fellow nationals, have been detained.

Meanwhile, investigations with detainees arrested by Russian security in more than one province have revealed that ISIS has been planning to carry out operations in Russia, targeting military headquarters and families of Russian officers fighting in Syria.

ISIS elements, who were arrested in Ufa, the capital city of the Republic of Bashkortostan in Russia, in 2017, confessed during investigations that they were planning to blow up a passenger bus or any car in a public place.

They then began planning to detain the families of Russian pilots, who took part in the fighting in Syria, to put pressure on the Russian authorities and demand them to stop bombing Syrian territory.

However, Russian security arrested the three defendants in this case before they could carry out any terrorist act. They were sentenced to nine to 16 years in prison.

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